For many fur-parents, they believe their departed animal companions have crossed the rainbow bridge and into the dog heaven where they experience only infinite happiness and a bottomless supply of treats.
A new study published in the journal Antiquity shows an increase in the use of gravestones for animals, in the belief that humans will one day be reunited with their beloved pooches.
“Few 19th-century gravestones reference an afterlife, although some may ‘hope’ to see their loved ones again,” said Dr. Eric Tourigny, author of the study. “By the mid-20th century, a greater portion of animal gravestones suggest owners were awaiting a reunion in the afterlife.”
Tourigny looked at more than 1,000 animal headstones during his research, and found humans to suggest a reunion in the afterlife with the text “God bless, until we meet again,” often included on the headstones.
Tourigny, who is also a lecturer in historical archaeology at Newcastle University also found that humans likely view their pooches as part of their families. Fur-parents also often refer to themselves by familial pronouns, such as “Mummy,” “Dad,” or even “Auntie.”
Most gravestones belonged to dogs, but the number of gravestones for cats increased by the 20th century.